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Short questions with Dana Perino

You’ve seen us on screen, but have you ever wondered what we’re like off-camera? 

For the last few months, I’ve enjoyed checking in with some of your favorite Fox personalities to learn more about who they are behind the scenes. 

What’s the one thing Jesse Watters couldn’t live without? What’s Bill Hemmer’s favorite Halloween costume? And what’s sitting on Greg Gutfeld’s nightstand? 

But that’s not all! The fun is just getting started.

This week we’re excited to shine the spotlight on John Roberts, co-anchor of “America Reports” (weekdays, 1-3 PM/ET) on Fox News Channel. He joined the network as a senior national correspondent in January 2011, based in the Atlanta bureau. 

P.S. We have so much more in store for you. Stay tuned each week for new editions of “Short Questions with Dana Perino” — and if there’s a question you want answers to or a suggestion for the person I should interview next, leave a note in the comments section below! 

Short Questions with Dana Perino and John Roberts

In this week’s “Short questions” piece, John Roberts tells Dana Perino the countries he’d still like to visit — and what it’s really like to be the father of twins.  (Fox News)

Q: If you could have a conversation with your younger self, what advice would you give?

JR: Stop smoking — and work even harder than you already are.

Q: A lot of people may not realize you are Canadian — born in Toronto! What do you miss most about living in Canada? Maple syrup?

JR: There’s lots of great maple syrup in Vermont and Maine, including my favorite, McCray’s, so I don’t miss that. I do miss my sister and sister-in-law and their families and my good friends. I don’t see them enough. 

I also miss the music scene. In any given night, you could see a dozen bands at some great venues. 

Q: At one point you wanted to study medicine — and that’s served you so well as a journalist. When have you relied on that knowledge that has set you apart from others covering a story?

JR: I was the chief medical correspondent at CBS News and managed to win a few awards by taking complex subjects and making them dynamic and easy to understand. 

It has also helped me innumerable times when issues around disease or other illness come up. 

Understanding viruses and disease process was invaluable during the COVID pandemic. 

Q: You’ve traveled all over the world for work — Vietnam, Singapore, Iraq, Finland, Yugoslavia, Turkey — the list goes on! How many countries have you been to? And on the home front, how many states have you visited? 

JR: I have probably been to 100 or more countries around the world covering Clinton, Bush and Trump — plus a few vacations to exotic locations like the Galapagos. On the home front, I have put feet down in every state, including North Dakota. 

Q: Name a city or country that’s still on your bucket list.  

JR: Iceland, Morocco and South Africa. 

Q: How do you approach setting boundaries with technology and social media with your kids?

JR: They have limited time on devices to converse with friends, play a few games and watch educational videos. Absolutely zero social media. 

And they don’t have their own phones. We have one device that they share between them when we have to leave them at sports practices.

Q: What’s the most fun part of having twins? They’re so talented!

JR: It’s thrilling, amusing and endearing to watch them develop their own personalities and interests, even though they’re exposed to almost exactly the same environment. 

We also really notice the way girls and boys differ in their development. Of course, twice the fun as one also means twice the frustration, twice the stress!

Q: If you could have dinner with any historical figure, who would it be and why?

JR: That really depends on the day and my frame of mind. We recently got back from a week in Paris, and I am fascinated by Napoleon’s rise from relative obscurity to one of the most revered figures in French history. 

“I’d love to have dinner with Ben Franklin and talk to him about democracy and inventing cool stuff.”

And since he was in Paris in the late 1700s signing the Treaty of Paris, I’d love to have dinner with Ben Franklin and talk to him about democracy and inventing cool stuff. 

Q: You were once a war correspondent. You covered the 2006 Israel-Hezbollah war as well as the war in Iraq from the front lines. What did this experience teach you about life? Do you still have a strong interest in foreign affairs? And could you share with our readers a little bit more about what wars you covered and what all you saw? 

JR: I covered the end of the Contra war and first post-war democratic election in Nicaragua. 

I was in Belgrade during the Kosovo war and NATO bombing. 

I was embedded with the Marines during the 2003 invasion of Iraq, then went back with the 172nd Striker Brigade and 4th Infantry Division.

I was also in Israel in 2006 and was the first Western correspondent to ever embed with the Israeli military. The unit I was with hiked 10 miles into Lebanon under the cover of darkness. 

Covering a war teaches you not to sweat the small stuff. As difficult as you believe things that nag at you might be, life could be a lot worse. 

As difficult as you believe things that nag at you might be, life could be a lot worse. 

You also develop a real empathy for innocent people who are caught up in the turmoil. During the Kosovo war, I visited a market where a NATO cluster bomb had gone astray. 

An elderly couple had just finished shopping for vegetables and were heading home when a bomblet dropped right in front of them. 

They both died instantly — their bags of leeks and lettuce strewn on the ground around them. Their long lives were snuffed out in an instant just for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. 

Q: Tell people about the time you were mistaken for Supreme Court Justice John Roberts … or were accidentally called by the White House operator? 

JR: I guess even the vaunted White House operators get it wrong once in a while. A strange number popped up in my cell phone. I answered and a voice on the other end said, “It’s the White House calling for the Chief Justice.” 

For half a heartbeat, I considered playing along just to see what whoever was calling wanted — but conscience and morality got the better of me. 

Q: Last song played on your phone?

JR: “Here I Go again” by Whitesnake. 

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To read all of Dana Perino’s earlier “Short Questions” interviews for Fox News Digital, check out this (long) list!

For her interview with Janice Dean, click here

For her interview with Charles Payne, click here

For her interview with Trey Gowdy, click here. 

For her interview with Johnny “Joey” Jones, click here. 

For her interview with Bill Melugin, click here

For her interview with Jimmy Failla, click here

For her interview with Tyrus, click here

For her interview with Ainsley Earhardt, click here

For her interview with Lawrence Jones, click here

For her interview with Dr. Arash Akhavan, click here

For her interview with Martha MacCallum, click here

For her interview with Bret Baier, click here. 

For her interview with Kayleigh McEnany, click here.

For her interview with Harold Ford Jr., click here

For her interview with Shannon Bream, click here

For her interview with Jessica Tarlov, click here.

For her interview with Leo Terrell, click here.

For her interview with Geraldo Rivera, click here. 

For her interview with Clay Travis, click here.

For her interview with Bill Hemmer, click here

For her interview with Greg Gutfeld, click here

For her interview with Benjamin Hall, click here

For her interview with Judge Jeanine Pirro, click here.

For her interview with Jesse Watters, click here.

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